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If I Have a Living Trust, Do I Need a Will?

When it comes to estate planning, the more specific your plan is, the better. If you have a living trust, you may wonder if this document is enough or if you should consider a secondary document like a will. Although living trusts are a powerful estate planning tool, there are several reasons to consider creating a will as well.

First, a will can designate a guardian for minor children or dependents. A living trust outlines how assets will be distributed after you pass away, but it does not provide instructions for what happens to your children or dependents should you no longer be here to care for them. Without a designated guardian, the court may determine who will be responsible for raising your children. A will is an important supplement for a living trust because it allows you to designate who will care for your minor children in the event of your passing.

Second, although everyone has the best intentions of funding their living trust, assets can slip through the cracks. Perhaps you forgot to move an asset into your trust or funding your trust was always on your to-do list but you never got around to doing so. A pour-over provision in a will can be used to transfer any remaining assets to your trust after you pass.

Third, a will can be used to name an executor for your estate. A living trust appoints a trustee to manage your assets, but an executor can manage the administration of your estate. Once again, this gives you greater control over who can control your assets when you are gone.

While a living trust is an excellent estate planning tool, it typically should not be a stand-alone document. An estate planning attorney can help you take stock of your unique circumstances to determine the best estate planning techniques for your situation.  To schedule a meeting with the estate planning attorneys at Brown Law Firm, LLC, call (303) 339-3750.